Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

The Ten Horseman of the Appocalypse … or why the collapse of the American Empire is inevitable

with 6 comments

I know I have discussed many of these before some of them at great length. There are several aspects to this list. For one thing, each of these ten items is something that has occurred since or was a radical departure from America in the 196os. An America whose schools, infrastructure, health care, and middle class were the envy of the world. And each of these things has been an epic fail, something that has cost the nation staggering sums of money and/or blood while simultaneously making the situation worse. And lastly, it’s the sum total of all of them that is alarming. Any one of them is a national calamity, with all ten of them (and likely a few more I didn’t cover,) its beyond me how the future can be anything but bleak. In no particular order, and there is some overlap:

1. The War on Drugs. Hundreds of billions of dollars spent, whole police forces, armies and even governments corrupted by drug money, countless lives ruined, tens of thousands dead … and drugs are as cheap ana available as they ever were. In fact the only drug that has seriously declined in use since this prohibition madness began … is tobacco. Americans in the 30s were able to understand that prohibition was creating more problems than it solved, not so much today apparently.

2. Public Education. In the 1960s the USA’s educational system was the envy of the world. It was actually possible for people to work their way through college. And the whole point of the educational system was to produce well rounded peopl who would be enlightened and productive citizens. Now it produces standardized tested drones designed to be cubicle workers for corporate America.

3. Prison Policy. California illustrates that nicely. In the 1960s CA had an incredible prison system that concentrated on rehabilitating prisoners. And the recidivism rate was the envy of the world. Since then California has gone to a prison policy of  “punishment only,” and the results are predictable. Prisoners are dehumanized by prison, and completely unprepared for society when released. So the recidivism rate has gone through the roof, and huge numbers of people are imprisoned at vast public expense. It’s literally insane.

4. Afghanistan and Iraq. Trillions spent, tens of thousands of Americans dead and maimed, and the only thing we have to show for it is we are more hated than ever. Even ARVN (South Vietnamese) troops didn’t kill our GIs, Iraq has allied with Iran, and our Afghan allies kill and wound our troops almost daily. And Obama with a straight face says both invasions are both “victories.” Right.

5. Health Care. France provides its citizens, every one, with cradle to gave health care that is the envy of the world for about 11% of their GNP. The USA spends 16% of its GNP on health care and provides its citizens with the worst health care in the developed world. Not only are Americans paying through the nose for the shittiest health care in the developed world, many of them are deluded into thinking its the best health care in the developed world.

6. War on Terror. Staggering sums of money spent, the largest expansion of government since the 1930s, government power to intrude on American’s lives expanded and still expanding … to defend against a threat that is so small it is statistically zero. That’s right, an American’s chances of being killed by terrorists have remained the same forever, essentially zero. As threats to our lives terrorism is not even on the radar.

7. Infrastructure Fail. Again, in the 1960s America’s infrastructure was the envy of the developed world. And since then spending has  been diverted into the military, and what spending does get made on infrastructure is so rife with corruption that mind numbing amounts of money get spent to accomplish very little. And we are now two trillion dollars in the hole.

8. War on the Poor and Middle Class/Upwards Transfer of Wealth/Legalized Corruption. This is a big one, in some senses the biggest one of all. From the end of World War Two until the late 1970s rising tides did lift all boats, and the American middle class was the most prosperous the world had ever seen. Since then the rich have gotten richer while everyone else has lost ground, and this has been very deliberate and systematic. This is trillions of dollars that has been taken out of circulation an invested in offshore bank accounts, if such a word like investment can properly be used.

9. War on Science. In the 1950s and 1960s everyone knew that science and scientists were one of the core things that had led America to greatness. Not so much anymore. And a huge percentage of our science infrastructure is now devoted to military research, or simply devoted to subsidizing corporate research in what were once public colleges and universities. This has impoverished us all from any number of perspectives.

10. Theocracy in America. I don’t know what else to say, a significant minority in the USA is bent on turning the USA into a Biblical Theocracy. This is crazy on so many levels, the first of which is that biblical prinicples fail as any sort of social policy. In the Bible punishment and prohibition are the only social policies, both of which are demonstrably the least effective social policies.

I could go on. And these all tie together in horrible ways. One of the most obvious is that there are powerful institutions and forces working very very hard to make sure that none of the above change. The prison lobby isn’t interested in rehabilitating prisoners for example, they want as many prisons and prisoners as possible. And they’ve succeeded, with 5% of the world’s population we have about 25% of the prisoners. A staggering waste of money and resources when it comes right down to it.

That’s the crux of it: staggeringly wasteful spending that doesn’t create any wealth whatsoever, but it enriches a tiny number of people who fund powerful lobbies to keep it so. Often with horrific unintended consequences on the side as well. This is no way to run a  nation.

And most Americans are oblivious. Or worse.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit and is central to illustrating the post. It’s from the History Channel program Life After People, a show that I heartily recommenced and encourage people to watch.)

Written by unitedcats

May 21, 2012 at 7:58 am

6 Responses

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  1. The collapse is ongoing and visible for those who see past the propaganda. But since most Americans have been raised and nurtured with propaganda they are hopelessly enslaved by their now limited vision.

    Here is just one example of absurd.. Obama got the Nobel Peace Price … LOL

    John Galt

    May 21, 2012 at 9:26 am

    • If you look around you, at the total inability of our society to adapt to change, to accept the competitive development of global competitors, changes to our society from immigration, effects of climate change, world developments of all kinds, how can you argue that USA decline is simply inevitable ?

      D.L.Contostavlos

      May 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm

  2. I have been following this blog for a couple of years now and I think this is the best one you have written. It is all so true and so very sad and demoralising when one considers the possibility that there will ever be a change of agenda. I am an Aussie, back in the 1970’s we had a Labor Prime Minister named Gough Whitlam who had great vision. Way back then he saw the need for a system of universal health care, and implemented it. He was panned. The subsequent Liberal government privatised it. The following Labor government brought it back to life and now all Australians have the benefit of not dying because they can’t afford to pay exorbitant fees for private health care. Mr Whitlam also raised the bar for Unemployment benefits and Old Age Pensions so that they too could feed themselves. An absolute neccesity when one understands the necessity of having at least 3-5% of the population unemployed at all times. Any lower and wages go through the roof and the cost of living soars. Poor people with no way of feeding themselves or their children inevitably turn to crime or drugs to numb the pain. The USA’s crime rate is frightening. A direct result of the governments policy of “the rich get richer and the poor get the picture”. The sad part is the large percentage of the population (the wealthy) who don’t realise why their country is in decline. Perhaps the picture of America that Hollywood presents to the world (everybody lives like the characters in Melrose Place or 90210) is not only believed by gullible Aussies who have never visited the USA, but also by many deluded (wealthy) Americans. My only gripe with your Post is that by including the current President in it you may help usher in another Republican to the White House. Even God (LOL) won’t be able to help the poor if that happens. Unfortunately for the USA it’s problems will not be fixed quickly, it will take decades, and many Democratic governments. Another Antichrist like the last Republican President and you can just forget it. LOL. Yes, I am one more person who is convinced that the government was the architect of 911.

    BBBBrett

    May 21, 2012 at 5:49 pm

  3. I have to agree that this may be one of your best blogs. You have succinctly stated what I have felt for some time. We have been on a downward spiral since the early 80’s. However, I believe that typical capitalistic societies seldom endure for much more than 200 years. The US has been pandering to our very lowest and most base responses. Kill anyone who doesn’t agree with us. Incarcerate people who threaten any deviation from the desired norm. De-educate the vast numbers of the working populace. Fly in the face of all common sense approaches to everything. I don’t see a grand future for America or my grandchildren and that opinion has less to do with the national debt as with the unbelievable ignorance running rampant in America today.

    Lee Whittaker

    May 22, 2012 at 5:56 am

    • Good call. I’m in agreement with Lee and Doug. Sad, startling situation we Americans are faced with. Superb blog on the subject that I hope gets circulated!

      Of course the problems boil down to how to go about creating effective, lasting change for the better in a country populated by a majority that either doesn’t care or hasn’t thought beyond the Republican/Democrat narrative for addressing national problems. No two people seem capable of reaching agreement up in this joint called the U.S.A., trapping us in a whirlpool of bickering and nonsense while decline hastens. It’s very frustrating, made all the more so by our lack of a national public forum to discuss such matters (the television in no ways serves this purpose). I don’t know what the answer is for us, depressed as that leaves me.

      BobtheProphet

      May 26, 2012 at 6:29 pm

  4. Its very sad and all totally true. I shouldn’t be worried, after all, I’m Australian but I know when America falls, the impact will be so big that the whole western world is going to be taken out as well.

    Funkmother

    May 29, 2012 at 8:14 pm


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